Students' Notetaking Habits and Perceptions in College Mathematics Courses and Course Success

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D)


Curriculum and Instruction

Date of Award

Spring 2015


The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between students' notetaking habits and perceptions of notetaking and their success in a postsecondary mathematics course. A total of 82 students were surveyed using the Notetaking Perceptions Survey. For this nonexperimental, quantitative study, the population was students enrolled in college algebra at a 4-year postsecondary institution and all participants were taught by the same professor. Participants were mixed gender, 44% (N=36) were male and 56% (N=46) were female, and mostly classified as freshman, 84% (N=69). Students were surveyed and their midterm grades were obtained, with permission, from the professor. The researcher conducted both parametric and nonparametric tests using Statistical Program for the Social Sciences (SPSS).Kruskal-Wallis and Mann-Whitney U tests determined there was a statistical difference between frequency of notetaking and midterm grades. Students who often took notes scored two letter grades higher than those who reported that they Rarely or Sometimes took notes. In addition, using factorization, discriminate analysis, and contrasts, students' perceptions of reviewing notes, particularly their own notes, reliably distinguished those with a grade of F from those passing with an A, B, or C.The mean midterm grade and standard deviation were computed by gender and frequency of use of several common notetaking habits. There were notable differences in mean midterm grades between gender and several of the notetaking habits. A Kruskal-Wallis test was run on several of the notable differences, but only one notetaking habit, Doodle or draw pictures, revealed a statistically significant difference between groups.Lastly, data from an ANOVA analysis revealed a statistically significant difference in midterm grades between participants who had previous notetaking instruction and those who had not. Those who had not received any notetaking instruction had a mean midterm grade of 74.4 (SD =15.13), while participants who stated they had received notetaking instruction had a mean midterm grade of 65.8 (SD = 22.78).


Joyce A. Scott

Subject Categories

Curriculum and Instruction | Education | Higher Education